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Day bag/personal item plus carry-on questions

Hi all,

Last year we visited Northern Italy (including a couple days in Milan) and this upcoming Spring we're headed to Rome (3 days) and Puglia (7 days). In Puglia we will be doing inn-to-inn walking with our main luggage transferred for us, so will need a daypack of some sort to carry water/map/first aide kit/jacket, etc. We are planning on taking carry-on luggage only (flying from West Coast US) and have backpack/duffels for our large bags (that fit the WestJet size limits -- a couple Deuter Aviant Pro 40L and then a couple inexpensive Amazon travel backpacks that we'll probably hate later). There will be four of us (last year there were two of us).

My daypack is an Osprey Daylight Plus, which is larger than personal item size, but I've never ever been questioned about it. I feel like I need to take it because of our walking plans, but not sure how to manage essentially two backpacks for the plane/train. Thoughts?

In Milan I kept my important papers in a neck wallet and used a basic cotton tote to carry my sweater, map, water bottle, snacks (phone was in my pocket). Is this a stupid plan for Rome? (I'm thinking about going even smaller with a bra pocket, but that's not an important detail). I liked the tote because it folded up into nothing but also was big enough for a light sweater. And I liked the neck wallet because I safety pinned it to the inside of my daypack when we were out walking/hiking so my important stuff was safe and wasn't going to fall out, but I didn't have to have them ON me. But if I need to buy one of the really cute Sherpani small bags, then that's what I'll have to do. :)

Thanks all!


Posted by
1456 posts

For my Northern Italy trip which included inn-to-inn walking with baggage transfer I used a Fjalraven 15" Kanken laptop bag as my personal item and hiking bag. Like you my luggage was a 40L backpack. I liked the Kanken because it has a clam shell opening, converts between a tote and a backpack and, most importantly, has padded shoulder straps. It is technically 3 cm too deep for Lufthansa's personal item limits but it is squishable. The only potential downside is that the "water bottle" side pockets are too small for many water bottles. But they will fit a small collapsible umbrella or a small 0.5L water bottle. By converting to a tote I avoided the trouble of having two backpacks. Although the Sherpani bags are cute I don't believe there's one with padded shoulder straps.

Posted by
1625 posts

Will your daypack fit into your large personal bag? Or is someone in your party only taking one bag and can carry on your daypack as their 2nd item?
I technically take 3 bags on the plane with my "once we get there purse" stuffed into my personal item and pulled out on arrival.

Posted by
1259 posts

I use a sackpack for two reasons when travelling. First, during the day, I use it to hold a jacket, water bottle, powerbank and any shopping; a sackpack is light but can hold a lot. Second, during check-in, on certain airlines, I may need to re-distribute weight from my carry-on 40+litre backpack into the "personal item" sackpack. For example, Lufthansa has a 8kg weight limit for the carry-on, so I will place my heavy electronics into my sackpack to redistribute the weight in order to make the limit. Once I make it past the gate, I will stuff everything back into my carry-on backpack. During train rides or hotel changes, everything goes into my carry-on backpack which is also expandable. I can still tolerate carrying 30+ pounds in my backpack, which has an internal frame and hip belt for heavy loads. I like to keep my hands free when I am on the move. And I want to be able to extend my feet on the plane, so I squeeze everything into my carry-on in the overhead bin.